I tend to shy away from posting or linking to representations of Jesus, first, to avoid any suggestion of veneration or idolatry and, second, from aversion to portrayals that artists make of him. So it is with a bit of consternation that I note I did it today, twice. On my English translation of the Portuguese devotional and on my Facebook profile.
On the latter, at least, the Byzantine mosaic shows him as a beardless youth—after all, he was not yet 50, as the Jews delighted to point out. So that gives one something different to mull over about our Lord’s appearance, which, in the end, matters not at all. But some portrayals of him don’t agree with the written record at all. The feminine Jesus is one horrible example of that, coming as it apparently does from the distaff-driven Catholicism.
In our youtube—MTV—cinema world, it stands as no small difference that the gospel is based, not on images, but on words. There are no reliable descriptions of any of Christianity’s major players, much less a graphic image of them. But there are no less than four accounts of the ministry of Christ. That is significant.
Does anyone else tend to avoid graphic representations of Christ? Is this a hangover from my religious background? Or is there good reason for it, as I’ve hinted at above?